Home Page About Us Contribute




Escort, Inc.





Tweets by @CrittendenAuto






By accessing/using The Crittenden Automotive Library/CarsAndRacingStuff.com, you signify your agreement with the Terms of Use on our Legal Information page. Our Privacy Policy is also available there.

Relaxation of the Federal Reid Vapor Pressure Gasoline Volatility Standard for Birmingham, Alabama

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Relaxation of the Federal Reid Vapor Pressure Gasoline Volatility Standard for Birmingham, Alabama

Gina McCarthy
Environmental Protection Agency
May 7, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 88 (Thursday, May 7, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 26212-26215]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-10615]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 80

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0905; FRL 9927-15-OAR]
RIN 2060-AS58


Relaxation of the Federal Reid Vapor Pressure Gasoline Volatility 
Standard for Birmingham, Alabama

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to 
approve a request from the state of Alabama for the EPA to relax the 
Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) standard applicable to gasoline introduced 
into commerce from June 1 to September 15 of each year for Jefferson 
and Shelby counties (``the Birmingham area''). Specifically, the EPA is 
proposing to amend the regulations to change the RVP standard for the 
Birmingham area from 7.8 pounds per square inch (psi) to 9.0 psi for 
gasoline. The EPA has preliminarily determined that this change to the 
federal RVP regulation is consistent with the applicable provisions of 
the Clean Air Act (CAA).

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before June 8, 2015 
unless a public hearing is requested by May 22, 2015. If the EPA 
receives such a request, we will publish information related to the 
timing and location of the hearing and a new deadline for public 
comment.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OAR-2014-0905, by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Email: a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov.
     Mail: Air Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, 
Mailcode: 6102T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, 
Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0905. Please include a total of 
two copies.
     Hand Delivery: Air and Radiation Docket, EPA Docket 
Center, WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20004. Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0905. 
Please include two copies. Such deliveries are accepted only during the 
Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be 
made for deliveries of boxed information.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-
2014-0905. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be 
included in the public docket without change and may be made available 
online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be 
Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose 
disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you 
consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov 
or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an ``anonymous access'' 
system, which means that the EPA will not know your identity or contact 
information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you 
send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through 
www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured 
and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket 
and made

[[Page 26213]]

available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the EPA 
recommends that you include your name and other contact information in 
the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If the 
EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot 
contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your 
comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, 
any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For 
additional information about the EPA's public docket, visit the EPA 
Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the 
www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such 
as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. 
Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically 
in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Docket, EPA/DC, EPA 
West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public 
Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public 
Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Air 
Docket is (202) 566-1742.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patty Klavon, Office of Transportation 
and Air Quality, Environmental Protection Agency, 2000 Traverwood 
Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105; telephone number: (734) 214-4476; fax 
number: (734) 214-4052; email address: klavon.patty@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    The contents of this preamble are listed in the following outline:

I. General Information
II. Public Participation
III. Background and Proposal
IV. Direct Final Rule
V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews
VI. Legal Authority

I. General Information

A. This Proposed Rule Is Published Parallel to a Direct Final Rule

    In the ``Rules and Regulations'' section of this Federal Register, 
the EPA is making this revision as a direct final rule without prior 
proposal because the EPA views these revisions as noncontroversial and 
anticipates no adverse comment. The rationale for this rulemaking is 
described both in this proposal and in the direct final rule.
    The regulatory text for this proposed rule is included in the 
direct final rule, and parties should review that rule for the 
regulatory text. If the EPA receives no adverse comment, the EPA will 
not take further action on this proposed rule. If the EPA receives 
adverse comment on this rule or any portion of this rule, the EPA will 
withdraw the direct final rule or the portion of the rule that received 
adverse comment. All public comments received will then be addressed in 
a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. The EPA will not 
institute a second comment period on this rulemaking. Any parties 
interested in commenting must do so at this time.

B. Does this action apply to me?

    Entities potentially affected by this rule are fuel producers and 
distributors who do business in Alabama.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             NAICS \1\
       Examples of potentially  regulated entities             codes
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleum refineries....................................          324110
Gasoline Marketers and Distributors.....................          424710
                                                                  424720
Gasoline Retail Stations................................          447110
Gasoline Transporters...................................          484220
                                                                  484230
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ North American Industry Classification System.

    The above table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather 
provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be regulated 
by this action. The table lists the types of entities of which the EPA 
is aware that potentially could be affected by this rule. Other types 
of entities not listed on the table could also be affected by this 
rule. To determine whether your organization could be affected by this 
rule, you should carefully examine the regulations in 40 CFR 80.27. If 
you have questions regarding the applicability of this action to a 
particular entity, call the person listed in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble.

C. What should I consider as I prepare my comments?

1. Submitting CBI
    Do not submit CBI to the EPA through www.regulations.gov or email. 
Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be 
CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to the EPA, 
mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify 
electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that 
is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment 
that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that 
does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for 
inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be 
disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 
2.
2. Tips for Preparing Your Comments
    When submitting comments, remember to:
     Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other 
identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and 
page number).
     Follow directions--The EPA may ask you to respond to 
specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of 
Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.
     Explain why you agree or disagree, suggest alternatives, 
and substitute language for your requested changes.
     Describe any assumptions and provide any technical 
information and/or data that you used.
     If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how 
you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be 
reproduced.
     Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and 
suggest alternatives.
     Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the 
use of profanity or personal threats.
     Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period 
deadline identified.
3. Docket Copying Costs
    You may be required to pay a reasonable fee for copying docket 
materials.

II. Public Participation

    The EPA will not hold a public hearing on this matter unless a 
request is received by the person identified in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble by May 22, 2015. If the 
EPA receives such a request, we will publish information related to the 
timing and location of the hearing and a new deadline for public 
comment.

III. Background and Proposal

A. Summary of the Proposal

    The EPA is proposing to approve a request from the state of Alabama 
to change the summertime RVP standard for Jefferson and Shelby counties 
(``the Birmingham area'') from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi by amending the EPA's 
regulations at 40 CFR 80.27(a)(2). In a previous rulemaking, the EPA 
approved a state implementation plan (SIP) revision from

[[Page 26214]]

the state of Alabama which provided a technical demonstration that 
relaxing the federal RVP requirement from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi for 
gasoline sold from June 1 to September 15 of each year in the 
Birmingham area would not interfere with maintenance of the NAAQS in 
the Birmingham area or with any other applicable CAA requirement. For 
more information on Alabama's SIP revision, please refer to the April 
17, 2015 rulemaking (80 FR 21170).
    The preamble for this rulemaking is organized as follows: Section 
III.B. provides the history of the federal gasoline volatility 
regulation. Section III.C. describes the policy regarding relaxation of 
volatility standards in ozone nonattainment areas that are redesignated 
as attainment areas. Section III.D. provides information specific to 
Alabama's request for the Birmingham area. Finally, Section IV. briefly 
discusses the associated direct final rule.

B. History of the Gasoline Volatility Requirement

    On August 19, 1987 (52 FR 31274), the EPA determined that gasoline 
nationwide was becoming increasingly volatile, causing an increase in 
evaporative emissions from gasoline-powered vehicles and equipment. 
Evaporative emissions from gasoline, referred to as volatile organic 
compounds (VOC), are precursors to the formation of tropospheric ozone 
and contribute to the nation's ground-level ozone problem. Exposure to 
ground-level ozone can reduce lung function, thereby aggravating asthma 
and other respiratory conditions, increase susceptibility to 
respiratory infection, and may contribute to premature death in people 
with heart and lung disease.
    The most common measure of fuel volatility that is useful in 
evaluating gasoline evaporative emissions is RVP. Under CAA section 
211(c), the EPA promulgated regulations on March 22, 1989 (54 FR 11868) 
that set maximum limits for the RVP of gasoline sold during the 
regulatory control periods that were established on a state-by-state 
basis in the final rule. The regulatory control periods addressed the 
portion of the year when peak ozone concentrations were expected. These 
regulations constituted Phase I of a two-phase nationwide program, 
which was designed to reduce the volatility of gasoline during the high 
ozone season. On June 11, 1990 (55 FR 23658), the EPA promulgated more 
stringent volatility controls as Phase II of the volatility control 
program. These requirements established maximum RVP standards of 9.0 
psi or 7.8 psi (depending on the state, the month, and the area's 
initial ozone attainment designation with respect to the 1-hour ozone 
NAAQS.)
    The 1990 CAA Amendments established a new section 211(h) to address 
fuel volatility. CAA section 211(h) requires the EPA to promulgate 
regulations making it unlawful to sell, offer for sale, dispense, 
supply, offer for supply, transport, or introduce into commerce 
gasoline with an RVP level in excess of 9.0 psi during the high ozone 
season. CAA section 211(h) also prohibits the EPA from establishing a 
volatility standard more stringent than 9.0 psi in an attainment area, 
except that the EPA may impose a lower (more stringent) standard in any 
former ozone nonattainment area redesignated to attainment.
    On December 12, 1991 (56 FR 64704), the EPA modified the Phase II 
volatility regulations to be consistent with CAA section 211(h). The 
modified regulations prohibited the sale of gasoline with an RVP above 
9.0 psi in all areas designated attainment for ozone, effective January 
13, 1992. For areas designated as nonattainment, the regulations 
retained the original Phase II standards published on June 11, 1990 (55 
FR 23658), which included the 7.8 psi ozone season limitation for 
certain areas. As stated in the preamble to the Phase II volatility 
controls and reiterated in the proposed change to the volatility 
standards published in 1991, the EPA will rely on states to initiate 
changes to their respective volatility programs. The EPA's policy for 
approving such changes is described below in Section III.C.
    The state of Alabama has initiated this change by requesting that 
the EPA relax the 7.8 psi RVP standard to 9.0 psi for the Birmingham 
area, which is subject to the 7.8 RVP requirement during the summertime 
ozone season. Accordingly, the state of Alabama provided a technical 
demonstration showing that relaxing the federal RVP requirements in the 
Birmingham area from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi would not interfere with 
maintenance of the NAAQS or with any other applicable CAA requirement.

C. The EPA's Policy Regarding Relaxation of Volatility Standards in 
Ozone Nonattainment Areas That Are Redesignated to Attainment Areas

    As stated in the preamble for the EPA's amended Phase II volatility 
standards (56 FR 64706), any change in the volatility standard for a 
nonattainment area that was subsequently redesignated as an attainment 
area must be accomplished through a separate rulemaking that revises 
the applicable standard for that area. Thus, for former 1-hour ozone 
nonattainment areas where the EPA mandated a Phase II volatility 
standard of 7.8 psi RVP in the December 12, 1991 rulemaking, the 
federal 7.8 psi RVP requirement remains in effect, even after such an 
area is redesignated to attainment, until a separate rulemaking is 
completed that relaxes the federal RVP standard in that area from 7.8 
psi to 9.0 psi.
    As explained in the December 12, 1991 rulemaking, the EPA believes 
that relaxation of an applicable RVP standard is best accomplished in 
conjunction with the redesignation process. In order for an ozone 
nonattainment area to be redesignated as an attainment area, CAA 
section 107(d)(3) requires the state to make a showing, pursuant to CAA 
section 175A, that the area is capable of maintaining attainment for 
the ozone NAAQS for ten years. Depending on the area's circumstances, 
this maintenance plan will either demonstrate that the area is capable 
of maintaining attainment for ten years without the more stringent 
volatility standard or that the more stringent volatility standard may 
be necessary for the area to maintain its attainment with the ozone 
NAAQS. Therefore, in the context of a request for redesignation, the 
EPA will not relax the volatility standard unless the state requests a 
relaxation and the maintenance plan demonstrates to the satisfaction of 
the EPA that the area will maintain attainment for ten years without 
the need for the more stringent volatility standard.
    Alabama did not request relaxation of the federal RVP standard from 
7.8 psi to 9.0 psi when the Birmingham area was redesignated to 
attainment for either the 1-hour ozone NAAQS or the 1997 ozone NAAQS. 
However, Alabama took a conservative approach in developing maintenance 
plans associated with those redesignation requests by estimating 
emissions using a federal RVP requirement of 9.0 psi.

D. Alabama's Request to Relax the Federal RVP Requirement for the 
Birmingham Area

    In a May 12, 2006 final rule, the EPA approved the Birmingham 
area's redesignation request and maintenance plan for the 1997 ozone 
NAAQS. See 71 FR 27631 (May 12, 2006).\2\ As required, the CAA section 
175A maintenance plan provides for continued attainment

[[Page 26215]]

and maintenance of the 1997 ozone NAAQS for at least ten years from the 
effective date of the Birmingham area's redesignation to attainment for 
the 1997 ozone NAAQS. This maintenance plan also includes components 
demonstrating how the Birmingham area will continue to attain the 1997 
ozone NAAQS, and provides contingency measures should the Birmingham 
area violate the 1997 ozone NAAQS. The state of Alabama's ozone 
redesignation request and maintenance plan for the Birmingham area did 
not remove the state-level 7.0 psi RVP requirement that was in place 
for the Birmingham area.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ The Birmingham area (i.e., Jefferson and Shelby counties) 
was designated as unclassifiable/attainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS 
effective July 20, 2012. See 77 FR 30088 (May 21, 2012).
    \3\ In 2001, the EPA approved a state fuel program that imposed 
a more stringent 7.0 psi requirement for the Birmingham area, per 
CAA section 211(c)(4)(C). The low-RVP fuel program required that all 
gasoline sold during the summertime ozone season (June 1-September 
15 of each year) in the Birmingham area contain a maximum RVP of 7.0 
psi. See 77 FR 23620 (April 20, 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On March 2, 2012, the state of Alabama, through the Alabama 
Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), submitted a proposed 
revision to Alabama's SIP removing the state-level RVP requirement to 
use 7.0 psi RVP gasoline in the Birmingham area during the summertime 
ozone season. The EPA approved the revision in an April 20, 2012 final 
rule. See 77 FR 23619. The revision to the Alabama SIP resulted in the 
federal RVP requirement of 7.8 psi applying to the Birmingham area.
    On November 14, 2014, the state of Alabama submitted a proposed 
revision to its SIP demonstrating that removal of the federal RVP 
requirement of 7.8 psi for gasoline during the summertime ozone season 
in the Birmingham area would not interfere with maintenance of any 
NAAQS. Specifically, the state provided a technical demonstration 
showing that relaxing the federal RVP requirement in the Birmingham 
area from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi would not interfere with maintenance of 
the NAAQS or with any other applicable requirement of the CAA.
    The EPA evaluated and approved Alabama's November 14, 2014 SIP 
revision in a previous rulemaking that was subject to public notice-
and-comment. The EPA received two comments on that rulemaking, and 
those comments were addressed in the final rule for that rulemaking. 
See 80 FR 21170 (April 17, 2015). The comments received can be found in 
the docket for that rulemaking (EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0867).
    In this action, the EPA is proposing to approve Alabama's request 
to relax the summertime ozone season RVP standard for the Birmingham 
area from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi. Specifically, the EPA is proposing to 
amend the applicable RVP standard from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi provided at 
40 CFR 80.27(a)(2) for the Birmingham area. This is based on the 
previous approval of Alabama's November 14, 2014 SIP revision, and the 
fact that the Birmingham area is currently in attainment for all ozone 
NAAQS.

IV. Direct Final Rule

    A direct final rule that would make the same changes as those 
proposed in this action appears in the Rules and Regulations section of 
this Federal Register. The EPA is taking direct final action on these 
revisions because the EPA views the revisions as noncontroversial and 
anticipates no adverse comment. The EPA has explained the reasons for 
the amendments in this proposal and in the direct final rule. If no 
adverse comments are received, no further action will be taken on the 
proposal, and the direct final rule will become effective as provided 
in that action.
    If the EPA receives adverse comments on the rule or any portion of 
the rule, the EPA will withdraw the direct final rule or the portion of 
the rule that received adverse comment. The EPA will publish a timely 
withdrawal in the Federal Register indicating which provisions are 
being withdrawn. All public comments received will then be addressed in 
a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. The EPA will not 
institute a second comment period on the subsequent final action. Any 
parties interested in commenting must do so at this time.
    The changes to the regulatory text proposed in this document are 
identical to those for the direct final rule published in the Rules and 
Regulations section of this Federal Register. For further information, 
including the regulatory revisions, see the direct final rule published 
in a separate part of this Federal Register.

V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    For a complete discussion of all the administrative requirements 
applicable to this action, see the direct final rule in the Rules and 
Regulations section of this Federal Register.

VI. Legal Authority

    The statutory authority for this action is granted to the EPA by 
Sections 211(h) and 301(a) of the Clean Air Act, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 
7545(h) and 7601(a).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 80

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedures, 
Air pollution control, Fuel additives, Gasoline, Incorporation by 
reference, Motor vehicle and motor vehicle engines, Motor vehicle 
pollution, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: April 30, 2015.
Gina McCarthy,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2015-10615 Filed 5-6-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library on Facebook The Crittenden Automotive Library on Instagram The Crittenden Automotive Library at The Internet Archive The Crittenden Automotive Library on Pinterest The Crittenden Automotive Library on Twitter The Crittenden Automotive Library on Tumblr


The Crittenden Automotive Library

Home Page    About Us    Contribute